Media consumers are bombarded with information from an ever-growing range of sources. Many journalists and news sites act as curators, collecting and sorting information for their audience. You add credibility--and avoid the appearance of plagiarism--when you are transparent about the sources of your information.

Here are some guidelines for avoiding plagiarism when you are aggregating content.

  • Publish just the content (from the headline or article) to identify the story. Do not post the entire story.
  • Prominently identify each source.
  • Link to the original source. Not only are you attributing the source of the information, you're providing context and detail for your readers.
  • Be clear about what you're providing. Offer context or commentary for information you include.

Taken from Avoiding Plagiarism and Fabrication, a self-directed course by Geanne Belton, Ruth S. Hochberger and Jane Kirtley at Poynter NewsU. This list is based on a 2010 white paper for the Berkman Center for Institute and Society, “The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices,” by Kimberly Isbell, with additional information from Sue Burzynski Bullard, at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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